JURIST Legal News

JURIST's legal news service, powered by a team of over 40 law student reporters and editors led by Professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
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In a Proclamation [text] issued late Sunday, US President Donald Trump [official profile] identified eight countries that have failed to cooperate in information sharing activities to the extent the administration deems necessary to protect US security interests. The affected countries are: Chad Iran Libya North Korea Syria Venezuela Yemen Somalia Subject to limitations and exceptions also identified in the proclamation, nationals of the eight identified countries are prohibited from entering the US. It may take a minute to parse the...
Here's the international legal news we covered this week: Transport for London (TfL) [official website] on Friday announced [motice, PDF] that it will not issue a private hire operator license to Uber London Limited to operate in London. [more] [JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] voted Thursday to establish an investigation [UN press release] into the Islamic State over possible war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Iraq. [more] [JURIST] A judge for the UK's Court of Protection...
Here's the domestic legal news we covered this week: San Francisco filed [complaint, PDF] a nuisance lawsuit against five fossil fuel companies due to expected expenses the city will incur from global warming. [more] The Oregon Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday upheld [opinion, PDF] the city's $35 annual tax [text] imposed on residents to fund art and music programs in public schools. [more] The District of Columbia Court of Appeals [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that the use...
Transport for London (TfL) [official website] on Friday announced [motice, PDF] that it will not issue a private hire operator license to Uber London Limited to operate in London. Uber's current license is set to expire September 30. However, Uber is able to appeal within 21 days, and Uber will be allowed to continue its operations in London while the appeal process progresses. TfL has declared that Uber has demonstrated "a lack of corporate responsibility." TfL specified that the lack...
[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] voted Thursday to establish an investigation [UN press release] into the Islamic State over possible war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Iraq. IS has previously been accused by the UN of targeting civilians [UN press release] and having an "absolute disregard for human life." The UN Security Council has expressed concern [UN press release] over the effect a planned independence referendum by the Kurdistan region. The member states have released a...
San Francisco filed [complaint, PDF] a nuisance lawsuit against five fossil fuel companies due to expected expenses the city will incur from global warming. The companies that were named in the law suit include BP P.L.C., Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhillips Company, Exxon Mobil Corporation, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC. The defendants were chosen because they are "the largest investor-owned fossil fuel corporations in the world as measured by their historic production of fossil fuels." The lawsuit alleges that the companies knew...
[JURIST] The Kentucky Circuit Court [official website] on Wednesday dismissed [opinion, PDF] a lawsuit challenging the state's criminal ban on medical marijuana. The three plaintiffs who originally filed the lawsuit [JURIST report] in June of this year argued that the ban on medical marijuana was an unconstitutional violation of Section II of the Kentucky Constitution [text, PDF], which states that, "absolute and arbitrary power over the lives, liberty, and property of freemen exists nowhere in a republic, not even in...
The Oregon Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday upheld [opinion, PDF] the city's $35 annual tax [text] imposed on residents to fund art and music programs in public schools. The tax was voted on and passed in 2013 "'to restore arts and music education' in public schools 'by providing stable, long-term funding for certified arts and music teachers.'" The $35 is owed once annually by all residents meeting certain age and income requirements. George Wittemyer filed the lawsuit in 2013...
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that the use of cell-site simulators to detect cell phone location without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment. Appellee Prince Jones filed the lawsuit after police used "Stingray" [ACLU description] devices to obtain evidence of his committed armed kidnapping, sexual abuse, robbery and use of threats. In considering whether the evidence should be precluded, the court found that the use of such device is a "search" within...
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Wednesday to challenge Michigan's practice of permitting state-contracted and tax-funded child placement agencies to use religious criteria reject qualified prospective parents based on sexual orientation. The complaint, filed against Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Director Nick Lyon and Michigan Children's Services Agency Executive Director Herman McCall [official websites], asserts [ACLU report] that the process violates the Establishment and Equal Protection Clauses...
[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Maine and Planned Parenthood [advocacy websites] on Wednesday challenged [complaint] a Maine law requiring abortions to be performed by a physician. 22 MRS §1598 [statute] reads "Any person not so licensed who knowingly performs an abortion on another person or any person who knowingly assists a nonlicensed person to perform an abortion on another person is guilty of a Class C crime." The complaint says that the statute "imposes severe...
[JURIST] A judge for the UK's Court of Protection [official website] ruled [decision, PDF] Wednesday that there is no obligation for judicial consent to end care of patients in a permanent vegetative state. Justice Peter Jackson [official profile] of the High Court Family Division oversaw proceedings on patient M, a woman who had been on an End of Life Care Plan since July 2016 and had been unresponsive for about eighteen months. For almost three decades, the UK has enacted...
Numerous raids on government and corporate headquarters in the Catalonia region of Spain, which includes the city of Barcelona [official website] and has a population around 7.5 million, have led to widespread protesting and increasing tension [BBC report] between police and civilians. The conflicts come as an October 1 vote for independence [VilaWeb report, in Catalan] in the region, a vote the Spanish government has taken several actions to stop, looms less than two weeks away. In addition to the...
[JURIST] British Prime Minister Theresa May [official profile] told the UN General Assembly [official website] Wednesday that Internet companies must increase efforts to remove terrorist content from their online sites to prevent widespread distribution. While May acknowledged [Reuters report] the efforts made thus far, she highlighted increasing efforts from terrorist groups to disseminate propaganda in a quicker fashion. May has urged companies to remove terrorist content within one to two hours since such time is usually when the most material...
[JURIST] The UN opened a treaty [text, PDF] for signature on Wednesday prohibiting a wide range of nuclear weapon-related actions. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted [JURIST report] during a UN conference in July by a vote of 122 to 1. The treaty acknowledges the risks of nuclear warfare and calls for the total elimination of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices, explicitly prohibiting activities such as the development, transfer, receipt, use, threatening of use, or...
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that evidence of a field sobriety test is not conclusive evidence of driving under the influence of marijuana. The court found that although there is clear scientific evidence that the field sobriety test performance can be used to measure blood alcohol content of at least 0.08 percent, no scientific evidence exists showing the correlation of performance on the sobriety tests and marijuana intoxication. The case involved a challenge to...
Wisconsin's Court of Appeals [official website] on Tuesday upheld [ppinion, PDF] the state's right-to-work law, stating that the law does not violate the constitution. The right-to-work law prohibits requiring non-union members to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Challengers of the law claimed that it amounts to a taking without just compensation for the unions, who still must represent the interests on non-union members. The circuit court had previously granted summary judgement to the unions, stating that the...
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Tuesday blocked [opinion, PDF] a 2015 San Fransisco ordinance that mandated health warnings on advertisements for soda and other sugary drinks. The beverage industry sued San Francisco in July 2015, seeking injunctive relief to prevent the implementation of the ordinance, which was set to go into effect on July 25, 2016. The ordinance applied only to certain types of advertisements for sugar-sweetened beverages that contained one or more...
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit [opinion, PDF] brought by more than 100 Seattle police officers who claimed the city's new guidelines [text] on using force jeopardized their safety, ruling that the officers' claims were unsubstantiated by the Constitution. In the opinion, the court stated:The City of Seattle has a significant interest in regulating the use of department-issued firearms by it police officers, and the UF Policy does not impose...
[JURIST] The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) [official website] on Tuesday called on [press release] the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to protect all refugees and asylum seekers in the wake of a deadly shooting incident last week. In Kamanyola, Congolese soldiers violently responded to a protest allegedly ignited by detained Burundians fearing deportation. Live rounds were reportedly fired at the protesters, which included refugees and asylum seekers, resulting in 39 deaths and 94 injured individuals. According to...

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